The Ultimate List of 10 BEST Deer Hunting States in 2016

When it comes to deer hunting, America enjoys a far and wide recognition. This is linked to the huge deer populations around the country. Yes, you’ll find deer populations on almost every corner of this great nation. But which are the 10 best deer hunting states to hunt deer in America?

Are you wondering too?

Read this:

A few weeks ago, we set out to discover the best places in the US where you can enjoy hunting the whitetail deer again and again. To give you the best results, we took into considerations many factors – such as the number of bucks harvested, hunters success rates, the prevailing weather conditions, age factor of the hunted bucks, and even the hunting pressure.

Coupled with reliable sources and the diverse experiences and opinions from expert hunters from various states, we compiled a list of the ten best deer hunting states in America.

And today, we’re glad to introduce to you these top-ranked states for deer chasing…


Here are The TOP 10 Best Deer Hunting States in America:

NOTE: The list below does not follow any particular order…


#1. Georgia10 best deer hunting states


Surprised to see Georgia on our list? We expected this reaction from you given that little is known of Georgia in the deer hunting world. Good news is that the quality of deer hunting here has been on the rise over the years. While it may be almost impossible to tag a Booner in this state compared to the others, the overall deer harvest statistics are incredibly high. What’s more age structure of the hunted bucks is healthy, and the deer density is above average. Also keep in mind that around 3% of the state’s land is open for public hunting. All this wins Georgia a place in our post.


#2. Iowaiowa-whitetail-buck


Failing to mention Iowa as a top hunting state will make this list a big joke to all hunters. Iowa is the state that boasts of vast hunting grounds open for the public hunting. You’ll agree with us that 266,000 acres are a big land for public hunting. And this will help you avoid the state’s huge license rates for non-residents.

It’s also interesting to note that between 2005 and 2010, only 2 states enjoyed more B&C entries other than Iowa. Iowa guarantees you 0.078% chance of bagging a Booner.

For you to hunt in Iowa, you need to apply first and pray that you’re drawn. The non-resident hunting licenses not only come with huge fees, but they also restrict you to specific areas.



#3. Texastexas-buck


Moving on to our third best deer hunting state, we have Texas. Texas holds large deer populations (and an equal number of hunters). The hunters in Lone Star State take down more bucks yearly than in the other areas by a huge gap – imagine 309,207 bucks bagged in 2011 alone? And 60% of the bucks were 31/2 (or more) years old? Hunting in Texas is actually great.

Also, note that the state came at number 2 in the antlerless harvest statistics and appeared as the 10th Boone and Crockett entries (with 132) between years 2005 and 2010. If you couple these factors with the vast public hunting land in Texas (almost 1.6 acres), you’ll agree with us that Texas is a top hunting destination for every hunter.


#4. IllinoisIllinois buck


Illinois features on our list since it showed impressive scores in a few categories, unlike the other states which had a high score in only one or two categories. The state recorded up to 299 bucks in the Boone and Crocket books between 2005 and 2010, becoming the second best.

Antlerless harvest here is also encouraging (over 100,000 annually), plus the pressure is quite high but not to the level of other states. The size of public hunting grounds is reasonable, and trophy production in Illinois is excellent.

So, if you get the opportunity to hunt in Illinois, just do it, and you’ll be happy you did it.


#5. MissouriMissouri buck


If you fancy big city nightlife and overwhelming deer hunting in all possible directions, head on to Missouri. The place is a rising star in the outdoor world – and the several TV shows that has sprung from the area in the recent years is enough evidence.

But that’s not all. The trophy potential is BIG, enormous tracts of land for public hunting available, and the pressure is quite reasonable (to be precise: 8.3 hunters/square mile). With 38% of the bucks killed having an age of 31/2 plus years of age, the deer heard in the state have, indeed a healthy age factor.

Planning to go Midwest for the next deer hunting season? Don’t overlook Missouri.


#6. IndianaIndiana buck


Another Midwest state? True, Indiana is another place in the US where you’ll have a wonderful time hunting the deer. Compared to all the other states, Indian will grant you a 0.084% chance of harvesting that Booner. Over the past 10 years, the state has also been featured on the top 10 for the total B&C entries. And despite the average hunting pressure there, you’ll still enjoy a 50% success rate. Combining all this with the respectable parts of public hunting grounds makes Indiana another great Midwest hunting spot for every hunter.


#7. MississippiMississippi buck


With a deer population of up to 1.8 million, you can never go wrong with deer hunting in Mississippi. And don’t be fooled into thinking that state does not offer you the big bucks; the position 7 B&C all-time non-typical was taken in 1997. Since then, this state continues to produce monster bucks every new year.

Other statistics show that the Magnolia state ranks 1st in the percentage of the killed bucks having a good age structure – 31/2 years, second in the percentage of bucks harvested yearling, and fifth in the number of bucks hunted/square mile.

From this information, it’s evident that your chance of bagging a good buck can’t be better in any other state.


#8. KentuckyKentucky buck


For many years, Kentucky has appeared among the best-kept deer hunting world secret. The Bluegrass state has what every deer hunter would probably dream of: long deer seasons, friendly hunter regulations, huge, healthy and balanced deer herd, and reasonable pressure. In Kentucky, you will also enjoy huge public hunting lands that are trophy-potential.

The state ranks second to Indiana only (i.e. 0.082%) when it comes to the chances of harvesting a Booner.

Are you still looking for more information on why Kentucky is a top deer hunting state?



#9. WisconsinWisconsin buck


Statistics indicate that over 1.2 million deer herds are present in Wisconsin. The public hunting grounds in the same state add up to over 6 million acres. Isn’t this an exciting proposition for all hunters? As you go to this state to chase the deer, bring your backpack with you and be ready to spend several nights in the wilderness. Or you can lease the hunting lot (or join outfitted hunt) at a fee. But note that the pricing is quite high for one good reason: The Wisconsin deer hunters killed around 2,088 bucks – registered by the Pope and Young – in the last 5 years.


#10. South CarolinaSouth Carolina buck


One more top-ranked deer hunting state in America…The Palmetto state closes our roundup of the best states for some pretty good reasons. In a report published by “Quality Deer Management (QDM) Associations”- The 2013 Whitetail Report- South Carolina ranked 1st nationally in the number of bucks killed per square mile (that is, 3.6 bucks/square mile). The report also indicated that 70% of the state’s hunters recorded a fruitful harvest.

The chances of getting a monster buck might be scarce, but the probability of having a good time and tagging a good buck are incredibly high


Bottom Line

Now you have it; the 10 BEST states where your deer hunting success is high. All the statistics used in this post comes from trustworthy sources, and will help you determine the right state that meets your deer hunting needs and expectations. These sources include the “Boone and Crocket Club”, “Whitetail Scale”, “Backcountry Chronicles”, and the “Quality Deer Management Associations Whitetail Report”.



Author Bio:


Jennifer-buck-with-bowJennifer is the founder of BuckWithBow, a great blog that focuses on helping you learn how to hunt deer with a bow. As an experienced bow hunter, she will guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts of the bowhunting world and transform you into a better hunter. Whether you are an experienced bow hunter or an absolute beginner, you will find BuckWithBow a gem!


2016-2017 Deer Hunting Regulation Changes

2016-2017 deer hunting regulation changesI just wanted to go over a few 2016-2017 deer hunting regulation changes that have been approved already in a few different states. Some people may view the changes as good and some may view them as bad. One thing is for sure you can’t make everyone happy all of the time.

2016-2017 Deer Hunting Regulation Changes From Various States

  • Missouri: Maintain current timing of the November portion and reduce the length from 11 to 9 days, expand the late youth portion to three days beginning the first day after Thanksgiving, reduce the length of antlerless portion from 12 to 3 days and begin on the first Friday in December, eliminate the urban zones portion
  • Wisconsin: ten deer management units will not have an antlerless quota (each within the Northern and Central Forest zones), while the rest of Wisconsin will have a quota of 256,775 antlerless deer (compared to 224,735 in 2015), The issuance of bonus deer hunting permits, in addition to farmland zone permits included with each deer hunting license, will include 22,775 permits valid on public access lands (compared to 18,450 in 2015) and 136,875 permits valid on private lands (compared to 125,375 in 2015). As a reminder, bonus antlerless permit sales for the Forest zones begin Monday, Aug.15 at 10 a.m. Central Farmland Zone permits will go on sale Aug. 16, and Southern Farmland Zone bonus permits will be made available Aug. 17. A Holiday Hunt will be held in 13 counties and provide for an additional antlerless-only opportunity for firearm hunters from Dec. 24 to Jan.1. In addition, junior license holders in Ashland, Sawyer and Forest counties will not be allowed to harvest antlerless deer – these councils exercised their right to submit this recommendation in an effort to encourage increased herd growth.
  • Texas: AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted a suite of changes to this year’s deer hunting regulations that includes expanding white-tailed deer hunting into 14 counties across the western Panhandle, and creating additional deer hunting opportunities in East Texas. The Commission adopted the following changes to the 2016-17 Statewide Hunting Proclamation, the details of which will be incorporated into this year’s Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Outdoor Annual: Elimination of the Antlerless and Spike-buck Control Permit due to lack of demand; Define “unbranched antlered deer” to clarify what constitutes a legal buck across seasons and to alleviate confusion among hunters, and replace the “Special Late Antlerless and Spike-buck Season” with a “Special Late Season” to accommodate the inclusion of “unbranched antlered deer” in the bag limit; Allow the take of antlerless deer without a permit on certain U.S. Forest Service Lands during youth-only seasons; Clarify that white-tailed antlerless deer harvest during the archery-only season does not require a permit and harvest of antlerless deer during youth seasons is restricted to persons 16 years of age and younger including on properties issued Level 1 Managed Lands Deer (MLD) Permits; Implement both a general and special archery-only season for white-tailed deer in Andrews, Bailey, Castro, Cochran, Gaines, Hale, Hockley, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Parmer, Terry and Yoakum counties, with a bag limit of three deer (no more than one buck and no more than two antlerless), which is identical to adjoining/nearby counties that currently have a season. Implement both a general and special archery-only season for white-tailed deer in Winkler County, with a bag limit of three deer (no more than one buck and no more than two antlerless, with the take of antlerless deer restricted to the archery-only season or properties issued MLDP antlerless tags). The new season is identical to adjoining/nearby counties that currently have a season. Establish four “doe days” (time periods in when antlerless deer may be taken without a permit in parts of the state where antlerless harvest regulations are conservative) in Bell (east of IH35), Burleson, Ellis, Falls, Freestone, Kaufman, Limestone, Milam, Navarro and Williamson (east of IH35) counties;–Increase the number of doe days to 16 in Anderson, Brazos, Camp, Gregg, Grimes, Henderson, Lamar, Leon, Madison, Morris, Red River, Robertson and Upshur counties; and–implement a muzzleloader-only late season in Anderson, Bell (East of IH 35), Brazos, Burleson, Comal (East of IH 35), Delta, Ellis, Fannin, Falls, Franklin, Freestone, Grimes, Hays (East of IH 35), Henderson, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Milam, Navarro, Rains, Red River, Robertson, Smith, Titus, Travis (East of IH 35), Van Zandt, Williamson (East of IH 35), and Wood counties.
  • Arkansas: Added a youth modern gun permit hunt for Rick Evans Grandview Prarie WMA, add a private lands antlerless-only deer hunt in deer zones 4, 4a, 4b, 5, 5B,7 and 11
  • Ohio:White-tailed deer hunting season changes include moving the two day gun season to Saturday and Sunday December 17-18, and muzzleloader season to January 7-10, 2017

These are just a few of the states approved changes so far that I could find. Make sure to check the official 2016-2017 deer hunting regulation changes for the appropriate state you will be hunting.

I grew up hunting in Georgia and recently moved to Kansas and now Kentucky and it was an eye opener to see different game regulations and how they went about deer hunting in different states. The one thing I would really like to see in Georgia and I know everyone won’t agree with this but I think the Georgia rifle season is just too long. I think they could shorten the season for when you could shoot a buck with a rifle but still let hunters that wanted meat to have ample opportunity to shoot does. Most but not all that I talk to in Georgia seem to think the buck to doe ratio is way more does than bucks in Georgia. I’m  not sure if that is actually the case because I haven’t hunted in Georgia for several years now. It was just so refreshing when I was transferred to Kansas and started hunting there to see the bucks able to reach their mature age and get big and to actually have a decent chance at getting a buck of a lifetime. It seems like it would make sense for Georgia to limit hunters to one buck in a shorter rifle time period and let hunters still shoot does with a rifle if they needed meat. That would help the bucks reach a mature age and give Georgia hunters a better chance at mature bucks. What would you like to see change as far as hunting regulation changes in Georgia or your state?


Top 10 Whitetail Deer Hunting Videos


I filmed this buck in one of my favorite whitetail deer hunting videos.

I was looking at whitetail deer hunting videos on YouTube and thought it would be fun to share my top 10.  There are so many to choose from but these are a few of my favorites.

Whitetail Deer Hunting Videos

  1. First on my whitetail deer hunting videos list would have to be one that I just happened to film. Some of you may have heard about a buck we were after we named “Horn Donkey”, he was a very special buck that I honestly believe would have been very close to being a possible Kansas state record typical with a bow. Although it didn’t quite turn out like we had hoped, it’s still some awesome footage of a very special buck. You can click the following link to read the full story on Horn Donkey.
  2. This is one of my all time favorite deer hunting videos, just crazy to watch this whole hunt unfold. Dylan shoots this very nice buck and then another nice buck comes in and starts attacking it. This has been one of my favorites for years. One Huge Kansas Buck with another one coming to visit.
  3. This is some awesome footage of just an amazing Kansas Giant buck, this is one we all dream about seeing one day. My wife and father-in-law saw a buck of this caliber a few years ago while driving to town here in Kansas. I can’t imagine seeing a buck like this in the wild.
  4. is one of my favorite websites and this video is of a great big Illinois buck that took a lot of hard work and determination to get him. The hunter surely earned this big monster.
  5. ‘The Joe Franz’ Buck: Joe Franz killed what some believe is the biggest buck to ever be taken on video. Enough said.

  6. 192″ Boone and Crockett buck with a bow“, the title says it all. The hunters reaction after shooting this huge whitetail is priceless. When it all comes together and all the hard work pays off it can get a little emotional.

  7. 210″ inch Giant whitetail buck with 11″ drop tine” awesome footage of a brute of a whitetail.

  8. Whitetail Boone and Crockett Buck ?” Check out this buck filmed near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. What a huge world class whitetail deer. I can’t believe there have only been 79 views of this video.
  9. Giant 184″ 21 point whitetail by: Aaron Law” This one starts off kind of crazy these guys are throwing peanuts out of the tree onto deer, then this huge Kentucky buck comes in making scrapes and the hunter makes a great bow shot.
  10. 2013 Kansas Monster Buck With Bow BBD” This is a great Kansas whitetail deer hunting video, these guys do a great job loved the second angle of the shot.

Filming hunting adventures can be a lot of hard work and can be tough. Most of my hunts are filmed and I know just how hard it can be to even see a buck like one of these much less get it on film with good light. It just makes me appreciate the footage in these videos even more. I hope you enjoyed a few of my favorite whitetail deer hunting videos.

What are some of your favorite videos?

Source: YouTube